Well, the first pre-season friendly kicks off on 18 July against Barnet, and the new premierleague campaign will begin against Everton away on 15 August - a tricky place to start and no mistake. However, I am delighted that we get to go up to play Manure early in the season on 29 August - its a real chance to take a big scalp, and I hope Arsenal have a real go at Manure early in the season.
And thats because as things stand on 8 July, Manure look like they will be weaker next year. The loss of Ronaldo will be huge and Valencia is simply no replacement. Similarly, exchanging Carlos Tevez for Michael Owen is not a step down in class - its an enormous plummet. Manure have lost two of their crowd favourites and whatever their fans say, they will be sorry to have lost them.
I also genuinely think that Ronaldo is irreplaceable. If Manure could get their hands on Lionel Messi, then they might be able to say they have obtained a player of similar abilities, but I cannot see Barca letting Messi go unless Manure are willing to break the Ronaldo fee. Ribery is a good player, but not in the same league as Messi or Ronaldo, and I cannot really think of anyone else who might be able to step into the fake-tanned uber-chav's shoes.
So, I am pleased to announce from this July vantage point of blind optimism that Manure will be total cack next year, which leaves Chelsea and Liverpool as our only challengers for the title.
Liverpool are in a bad place right now. They have run out of cash and the kebab-man Rafa needs more stray dogs to turn into fatty and expensive treats for the Anfield faithful. Unless Liverpool sort their finances out in the next 30 days, then they are bust. There are no rumours in the papers of a stinking rich Sheikh flying in to save them, instead, the rumours are that Mascherano is off to Barcelona and Real want Alonso. If Arsenal could pick up Macherano then I would almost wet my pants with excitement. No. I would wet my pants with excitement. And I am not saying anything about Alonso. Other than to say I would rather see Giles Grimandi come out of retirement. But I think that a lot anyway.
I have also thoroughly enjoyed Fernando Torres' "recommendations" after the Confeds Cup that Rafa should sign Villa and Silva. Well fuck me sideways Fernando - I bet Rafa the Spaniard had never even heard of these players before your crafty network of international scouts picked them up. What's that? Villa and Silva both play for Spain already and have done for years? What? They both excelled in the successful Euro 2008 campaign and everyone in the western, northern, eastern and southern worlds over the age of 1 month knows that they are good players already? Thanks Fernando. No really. Where would Rafa be without your incredible recommendations.
So, with any luck, we will be signing Mascherano, Alonso will retire to a brussel sprout farm in Astoria, and Liverpool will have no midfield whatsoever next year. Which means that yet again they will rely on Gerrard to dig them out of every damn hole they get themselves into. What an over-talented single-man-team Gerrard is. Unfortunately, unless Real do the decent thing and buy Gerrard, then Liverpool will figure again next season.
So, lastly, Chelsea. On paper, not much difference to last season. Drogba is still there, so is Cashley, so is Terry, Lampard.... sorry, I am going to have to stop there, as the bile is rising and I might spew. What a bunch of utter, utter, twats Chelsea have collected. And thankfully, next season they will be lead by the moron that is Carlo Ancelotti. Remember that this is the man who managed to finish 5th in Serie A with a team that included Kaka. He can barely speak English and his record at Milan was actually quite poor given the vast wealth at his disposal - ok, he won one Champs League, but only one Serie A title in 8 years is not the stuff of legends.
And so, as the massed hordes of Arsenal's defenders begin pre-season training at London Colney, including Gallas, Toure, Sagna, Clichy, Song, Vermaelen, Djourou, Senderos, Eboue, Gibbs, Sylvestre and Traore, I find it impossible to believe that we cannot find 4 players out of that 12 who could form a decent defence upon which our midget army in midfield can build its unco-ordinated attack.
So if we play out of our skins next year, then we may play some pretty football, flatter to deceive for a bit, lose to a couple of shite teams, draw with some other shite teams, and maybe, just maybe, have 3rd place and a decent run in the cups in our sights.
Get up for it Arsefans.